Note: This article was first published on 31 May 2021.
Or as they put it:
We currently have no plans for these reminders to become persistent and to limit the functionality of the app. There will also be other opportunities for those who haven’t accepted the updates to do so directly in the app. For example, when someone reregisters for WhatsApp or if someone wants to use a feature that's related to this update for the first time.
The announcement of Whatsapp's planned policy change saw a flood of protests from users, privacy groups, and governments. Competing messaging apps like Telegram also saw an uptick in new users.
While there are no guarantees that this will not change in the future, it looks as though for now at least, the big bad tech company has listened to the cries of their users.